Last night, I had a fun idea: why not start up a friendly Blog Riffing competition! The idea is still taking shape, but here's what I've got in mind so far:

  • Source Article Selection
    • I'll pick an article from somebody's blog for the contestants to Riff on.
    • Feel free to offer suggestions (submit them through my help desk) .
    • A good source article:
      • talks about something interesting.
      • is well written.
      • inspires.
      • doesn't beat the idea to death -- ie., it leaves plenty of room for commentary. (Visit Seth Godin's blog for many perfect examples. The articles certainly don't have to be as short as Seth's...but sometimes it helps.)
  • Topics: We'll start off in marketing, but let's not limit it to that. I'll set up some sort of system for letting people who are interested indicate what their niche is. Once we've got enough people for a topic, we'll pick an article from their niche.
  • Competition Announcement: I'll tweet a link to the article and announce it on a blog I'll set up on I'll also announce at least the first one or two here and at
  • How to Participate:
    • Write a Blog Riff on the selected article (ie. grab a quote from it and use it as the seed for an article of your own. Be sure to link back to the original.) Post it to your blog. (It'll be fun to see the reaction of some unsuspecting blogger when a bunch of people start writing responses to their post! :-)
    • Tweet a link to it, including the words "#RiffOn @username" where @username is the Twitter ID of the original article's author (if they don't have a Twitter account...either we won't use their article or we'll put their real name there. But someone with a Twitter account is preferable, because mentioning them in the tweet announcing your post is a great way to get them to visit your blog and post a comment.)
    • In the beginning, at least, there won't be any limit on the number of participants. That could change if we start getting too many entries!
  • Timeline:
    • I'm thinking after the source article is announced, we'll wait about 24 hours for entries.
    • I'll set up a countdown timer to let you know how much longer you've got to post your tweet.
    • It may be wise to wait till near the deadline to tweet (so that no one can steal your ideas!) I may even set up a simple Twitter app for you to use to easily schedule your tweet for some time close to the deadline. (Anybody want that?)
    • The winner will be announced...uh...not too long after (maybe the next day).
  • Judging:
    • Initially at least, I'll read all the articles and pick a winner. Additional judges may be added later.
    • There won't be any specific criteria, but you'll want to write well, and be original. A summary of the source article will not win. You'll need to take inspiration from the source article and use it as the seed for something of your own.
  • Prizes:
    • This is mostly about having fun, creating great content, and building connections.
    • All participants will get a post on their blog (everybody writes, so everybody wins! :-) and possibly a pingback link from the original article.
    • I'll create a badge that the winner can use to prove their awesomeness by displaying it on their winning post.
    • I'll also link to the winner and honorable mentions from the Blog Riffers blog.
    • Anything else we should throw in the pot?

If you know anyone who might be interested in participating, please let them know.

Reader Comment:
Blog Riffing - My First Riff - The Trieditblog said:
[...] the “Riff On” Blog Riffing competition about to begin, now there’s a need to have a place to announce things, link to winners, [...]
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